Can’t Decide Where to Go on Summer Vacation? Let Astrocartography Be Your Guide

Photo: Getty Images/Marco Bottigelli
Some people feel like they need a vacation when they get home from vacation. But what about the decision fatigue that plagues globetrotters on the front end of the planning game? After all, it's exhausting to simply choose a travel destination in the first place. To soak in the hot springs of San Miguel de Allende or swim with the pigs in the Bahamas? Northern lights or southern lights? (Champagne problems, I know.)

But recently, I learned about an astrology discipline that's speaking to my own indecisive, wanderlusty soul: astrogeography, which, as astrologer Dara Dubinet explains it, is "the astrology of place." Put simply, astrologers believe different places on Earth hold different planetary energies for each person, based on where and when they were born. The intel can provide insight into the best and worst places for you to live and travel, energetically speaking.

So, if you, say, studied abroad in Melbourne, Australia, and felt a new rush of confidence there, it could be because that city lies on your sun line. ("Lines" are latitude lines that correspond with the major celestial bodies, and they're different for everyone depending on that person's natal astrology chart.) Or, conversely, if you recently moved to New York City and you've felt overworked and weighed down ever since, it could be because the Big Apple's on a Saturn line for you.

"Any time we're thinking of relocating, traveling, holding a retreat, or having a wedding, it’s good to know what energies the destination holds for us." —astrologer Dara Dubinet

While astrogeography may sound supremely woo-woo, Dubinet contends that it's actually a super-practical life tool. "Any time we're thinking of relocating, traveling, holding a retreat, or having a wedding, it’s good to know what energies the destination holds for us," she says. It's also good to be aware of the vibes of the place where you're living in right now, since they may be affecting you in either a positive or negative way.

It blows my mind that more people aren't talking about astrogeography, given how mainstream astrology has become, but there's a good reason why it's remained under the radar for so long. "Before 1978, it was a very complicated process—it could take days of people measuring and mapping," says Dubinet. But in that year, an astrologer named Jim Lewis streamlined a method to chart out people's personal hot spots more quickly and easily, so more could use the intel, and he trademarked it "Astrocartography." (Dubinet coined the term "astrogeography," but it's essentially the same thing.) And thanks to computers, we're now able to get our own cosmic world maps with the tap of a trackpad, either by going deep in a session with a pro astrologer or downloading your chart basics for free from

If you choose to go the DIY route, however, be warned—it's a lot to take in. To simplify the process, Dubinet has launched an online Intro to Astrogeography course that shows you how to read your own map, and she's sharing a few 101-level nuggets of wisdom about astrogeography (or Astrocartography) below.

Prepare to send PTO FOMO packing with Astrocartography intel below.

To decode your Astrocartogaphy map, know your lines

Once you've run your own personal map—using your birth date, time, and place—you'll receive a map of the world with tons of crisscrossing colored lines on it. Each of these lines is linked with a certain celestial body, and each one is thought to bring out certain qualities in you when you're in a place near that line.

The best way to make sense of it all, says Dubinet, is to first think about what you're looking to call in to your life—a summer fling, financial success, creative inspiration, that kind of thing. Then, determine which planet that desire corresponds with and find that planetary line on your Astrocartogaphy map. Places on or near that line are said to contain the energy of its respective planet. Here's a rundown of each planet's energy, in Dubinet's words:

  • Sun line: "The sun is good for being seen—it gives you a healthy dose of ego. I call it your fame and reputation [line]."
  • Moon line: "The moon represents the divine feminine. It has to do with mothering yourself and others."
  • Mercury line: "Mercury is the planet of communication. Places on your Mercury line would be great for writing a book or activating your interest in something."
  • Venus line: "Venus is the planet of love, beauty, and relationships, as well as design and style."
  • Mars line: "Mars is drive. It's passion. If you want to feel lots of masculine energy, go somewhere on a Mars line."
  • Jupiter line: "Jupiter is the planet of joy, expansion, and abundance. It's a good one."
  • Saturn line: "In the long term, places on your Saturn lines can be aging and bring too much responsibility. But they're certainly good if you want to bring discipline and order into your life—like if you're choosing where to go to college."
  • Uranus line: "If Saturn's like the old man, Uranus is the teenage rebel. It comes in the form of surprises and change."
  • Neptune line: "Neptune is so spiritual, but you can't see things clearly on a Neptune line. You wouldn't necessarily want to live there."
  • Pluto line: "If you need to shake things up, go to a Pluto line—it's gonna cause destruction, but also rebirth and growth."
  • Chiron line: "[The asteroid] Chiron is the magical healer. It gives a little bit of life purpose insight [by indicating] how we're supposed to help others."
  • North and south nodes: "These represent your karma and fate. [Places on the node lines] feel like home, almost as if you'd been there before."

You may notice that some of your lines overlap or cross each other—for instance, my Jupiter and Pluto lines are right on top of each other. This just means that the energies of both are amplified in the places where they meet, says Dubinet. "Pluto combined with Jupiter speaks of explosive abundance," she tells me.

There's just one problem, as I see it: The energy from this power pairing is strongest for me in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but I'm not about to move there. And as much as I'd love to add that stamp to my passport, I don't think I'll be able to any time soon. The good news is that Dubinet says this doesn't matter....

You don't have to actually go to a place to experience its astrological energy

Of course, being in a given location would seem to be the best way to soak in its energy. And while that may be true, Dubinet claims you can also bring its influence into your life without leaving home. "You can call in the energies from the cosmos wherever you are. There are great ways of bringing them into the place you’re living now, without feeling like you have to relocate."

"You can call in the energies from the cosmos wherever you are. There are great ways of bringing them into the place you’re living now, without feeling like you have to relocate." —Dubinet

For example, let's say France is a particularly lucky place for you according to Astrocartography. If you can't physically go there to soak in its good fortune, Dubinet suggests channeling your inner French girl by listening to French music, watching French movies, wearing clothes by French designers, taking a French cooking class—you get the idea. You can also look for opportunities to connect with people from that place, as they may be able to deliver an important lesson or experience. (BRB, going to swipe for Brazilian guys on Hinge.)

Don't stress—there's no such thing as a "bad" place for you

So let's say that you've got your Astrocartography map and you find out that you're living on a tricky line, like Saturn or Neptune. Remain calm, says Dubinet. "The biggest thing is not to be fearful of the harder lines, because there are things that they all are giving us," she says. "If you chose a more challenging line to live on, it’s only making you stronger and more evolved. It might be the shake-up you need." And better vibes might just be a plane ride (or an international Netflix marathon) away.

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